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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Sharon answered Him saying, "Lord, I believe"


Sharon D. died last week. We've known each other for nigh on thirty years and while our friendship wasn't deep it was abiding and based on a mutual faith in and love for Jesus. Her celebration home going and memorial service was this week and the band of family and friends gathered were bonded through a mutual love of Jesus and Sharon. She was a Christian, a Godly woman of strong faith who lived her faith in small ways and large, both quietly and strongly. If she said she was praying for you, you could consider it fait accompli.

As I sat in the small chapel I thought over the years and was startled to realize Sharon and I mostly knew each other through our leaving. One or the other of us would leave central Virginia for Texas or South Carolina or Southwest Virginia. These leavings were always preceded by Bible study and prayer.  One of the very few times in my life God spoke to me using another person, He used Sharon. I was in a dither, trying to be at peace with a decision to uproot and move to S.C. Sharon quietly opened her Bible and said, "God is impressing upon me to read this verse" and she did. That same verse was one I'd read earlier in the week and a few days later was quoted by my Mom. To this day, other than me (and, of course, God) no one knows the connection or the verse.

God still speaks but we must daily be in His Word to perceive His whisper. 

Later, I told Sharon how God had used her to help me, both of us knowing it was another of His mysterious ways of dealing with His daughters.

Years later I met Dave and after a six year courtship we decided to move and marry on the front lawn of Thistle Cove Farm. Sharon was there in spirit and prayer then visited later with her best friend, Marti.

Sharon and I weren't intimates. We didn't delve into each other's lives and plumb the depths. We were women who held the other in high esteem and prayer, celebrating Jesus, secure in the knowledge we'd end our earthly days "absent in the body, present with the Lord".

Sharon was five days younger than I and has a daughter, Cat, who has a fiance, Will. The three of them had one last wonderful adventure when they traveled to Europe this Autumn. The photo montage shows extreme happiness on those three faces as they traipsed across alpines and villages. I think watching that video again and again will help with the grief process but as I told Cat, "Grief takes as long as it takes. It can't be rushed or ignored else it show up later in ways you don't want or need to deal with." As C. S. Lewis said, "Sorrow is not a state but a process." Dave's been dead six plus years and the grief still catches me unaware. I'm not in a puddle on a daily, or even weekly, basis but the grief is as real as it ever was with the gaping emptiness just as huge. (And please don't e-mail me with the advice to "get over it" but if you want to give words of encouragement, edification and love, those are gladly accepted!).

"Talk to me about the truth of religion and I'll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I'll listen submissively. But don't come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don't understand." ~ C. S. Lewis ~ 

Grief is a foreign country with an unknown language and there's no guide book. Most of us don't want to visit but if we live long enough, we'll get to to that land. God alone knows how long we'll reside there but He is with us (me) each and every moment. Had He not been, I would have followed Dave.

Sharon, don't rest in peace. You're free from pain, suffering and all the ties that bound you to earth. No doubt you heard, "Well done thou good and faithful servant" and have joined that great celebration choir. Who knows the plans God has for us and for His glory but, for those who love Him and are called, those plans include Heaven for all eternity. He has work yet for each of us; I know, beyond a shadow of doubt, you'll work joyfully as you gaze upon Jesus' face. Just as you've done.

The last time we saw each other we held hands and I whispered a quiet prayer into your ear. I also wanted you to tell Dave, if allowed, I'm doing okay but as my greedy brain cast about for the right way and words to pray, I forgot my question.  People tell me Dave is watching over me and hears me should I talk to him but I'm not comfortable with that notion and can't find anything Biblical to support it. I am comfortable knowing God watches over me and gives His angels watch care as well. In ways large and small God lets us (me) know He cares. When I arrived at the chapel, the greeter handed me a yellow rose. Yellow roses were the number two choice Dave always gave me and in being handed that yellow rose, God let me know He knows and He cares. I hope He was as loving toward the others in that room.

Sharon, once again our friendship is based on leaving. I was born first and you're leaving first. Now, as does Gabriel, and with that great cloud of witnesses gone before, you're standing in the presence of Almighty God! That makes me shout and dims the grief; Praise God!

Ponder this ~ "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even though they die and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

And Sharon answered Him saying, "Lord, I believe."

14 comments:

  1. We lost a Godly friend too this week. Rest In Peace doesn’t fit her either. There will be joyful work to be done. Your posts are always spot on. Carry on friend.....I believe!

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  2. So sorry for the loss of your friend, but so joyful for her! This was a wonderful testimony of your friendship. Yes, it's been four years since Bob left for heaven and just this morning I was reminded of one of his little "habits" and it touched my heart so that I found myself sobbing and thanking God for giving me such a sweet and devoted man. He always loved me (and that wasn't always easy) and his children and always tried his best to take care of us. That was rough going most of our lives (financially) but he never gave up and always stayed positive. Bless his heart. I also have problems with the thought that our loved ones are "looking down from heaven" and watching over us. How can they be free of pain and sorrow if they're doing that? But I do love knowing that my Savior is watching over me and interceding for me. Our loved ones are busy loving Jesus and we will join them when the time is right. Hugs to you, friend!

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  3. What a beautiful tribute to your friend. I am sorry for your loss. ((HUGS))

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  4. Kind words of remembrance . . . and I totally agree that talking to our loved ones who've gone before is not in the Bible. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help. Thanks for sharing your heart here.

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  5. We are all on our way to that great wedding feast! She has completed the race set for her. Glory to God!

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  6. What an awesome share, Sandra. May she rest gently with Jesus. The loss of our baby son still creeps up often, with a tear shed, missing him terribly after 48 years.

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  7. So sorry for your loss of a beautiful Godly friend, but so happy for Sharon to be in the presence of our Lord & Savior! God bless you, Sandra.

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  8. What a friendship! I really can imagine and saw it myself, that in some special situations the Lord uses a certain friend to say something important to us. O how hard to loose such a friend! Dear Sandra from the Thistle, I lost two Christ-Friends this year, and a sheep, and dog Lady. But I can say THANK YOU to the Lord, who has given them into my life. And you say so right: "God still speaks but we must daily be in His Word to perceive His whisper." So the most important thing is for us always to be aware of His presence. He has new ideas for us. And somehow we also hear something from our beloved friends, they remember us, that they have given us a strong word or statement from the Lord, a word, which still works with us.

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  9. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. You have written a lovely tribute to her. It's such a blessing to be sure where our dear Christian friends and family will be and to know that we will be reunited with them one day. I don't believe it's quite okay to talk to our loved ones in heaven either, but I believe the Lord will let them know what they -- and we -- need to know. We can rest assured that all of us, either here on earth or in Heaven, are taken care of by a loving God. xo Deborah

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  10. Dearest Sandra ~ I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend and sister in Jesus. Knowing she is with Him does give us reason to shout for joy.

    Love, hugs & prayers for you dear heart.

    Thank you for being the loving inspiration you are, sharing God's love and encouraging words with your readers.

    FlowerLady

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  11. Beautiful, beautiful. This was a very encouraging post albeit it sad in earthly loss. Thank you for penning these thoughts quotes and verses. Enjoy being in the presence of your savior, Sharon! Here's something I read this morning...
    To wrest the power of death from Satan's hand, God sent Christ into the world. If you have a greater weapon than your enemy, then his weapon is useless. You can't fight a machine gun with a bow and arrow. Satan's weapon is death, but eternal life is God's weapon, and with it Jesus destroyed death.

    How was He able to do it? He rose again, proving He had conquered death. That's why He said, "Because I live, you shall live also" (John 14:19). His resurrection provides the believer with eternal life. ~John MacArthur

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  12. Grief is a stinker. Seems, when thrust through its doors, it opens all the previous doors traipsed. Ugh.

    Several years ago at a friend's funeral the pastor said her body was a tabernacle and it was time for it to be packed up and moved.

    New thought to me. Had to look it up. Yes, our bodies are mere tabernacles. Temporary structures.

    Great is the friendship that does not go deep into human realms yet is deep as possible in the spiritual realm.

    Me Too ! I send messages, mostly my pets, about to die.

    Thank you for all you give, from your grief.

    Garden & Be Well, XO T

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  13. I'm so sorry for your loss, Sandra.
    What a lovely and honest tribute to Sharon.

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